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Lonnie undergoes surgery

Lonnie undergoes surgery

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If it becomes necessary, Lonnie Robinson, a final year student of the Community College who is currently undergoing critical reconstructive surgery at the International Hospital for Children (IHC), Richmond, Virginia (USA) will have any additional surgeries done in Cuba.

This disclosure was made by Dr. Douglas Slater, Minister of Health and Environment.

“If he can get all that can be done in the US, then in as much as he is there already, that will be done. But the Cubans have given the assurance that whatever else is necessary to be done, that can be done there, will be done if it becomes necessary,” said Dr. Slater.{{more}}

On October 9, 2005, the 18-year-old Peniston resident who had held the post of President of the Community College Student Council was involved in a near fatal accident while riding his bicycle at Campden Park.

He suffered severe trauma to his head, a six-inch skull fracture, face and dental trauma, and severe nerve injury that has caused paralysis to his left arm. He is also suffering wastage of the muscle in that arm resulting in a dislocation of his left shoulder. And, on a more serious issue Lonnie had been placed on a meningitis watch.

The cost of the reconstructive surgeries necessary to help him lead a normal life again was estimated at EC$250, 000.

For a while, raising this huge sum seemed unattainable, but efforts made by the Rotary Club of St.Vincent South, Dr. Bharati Datta, Prime Minister Dr.Ralph Gonsalves, Dr.Douglas Slater, and Florentino Batista, Cuba’s Vision Co-ordinator, resulted Lonnie in getting his surgeries free of cost.

With regard to assistance from the Government of Cuba, Dr. Gonsalves said: “This matter was not raised at any low level, it was not raised just at a level of any hospital or the level of ministers, I personally raised it with Fidel (Cuba’s President Fidel Castro) and got his assurance on it so this matter is a matter which was raised at the highest level of the Cuban Government and the Government of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Artis Robinson, Lonnie’s father and a Justice of the Peace, has confirmed that Lonnie has undergone two successful surgeries, one on March 30 and the other on March 22. Artis said a cranial surgery was done to stop the leakage of spinal fluid from the brain, which could have led to meningitis.The second surgery was related to reconstruction of Lonnie’s jaw.

“They had to do some bone implantation.That surgery went better than they expected. They were successful so far,” said the elated father.

Artis disclosed that Lonnie was a bit scared in doing back to back surgeries.

“I had to tell him don’t be scared, just keep the faith,” Artis.

The father further stated that a Magnetic Resonance Angiogram scan (MRA) on Lonnie detected that three of his nerves were torn out of the root, which led to the paralysis in his arm. Plans have been put in place to do a nerve transplant sometime this week or in the upcoming week.

Artis expressed his gratitude to the local doctors who helped saved Lonnie’s life, especially Dr. St. Clair Thomas, Dr. Juana Osborne, and neurosurgeon Peter Kowlassar.

He said he is also grateful to the Government for their assistance.

Recently, Lonnie expressed that he was still holding to his dreams of becoming a meteorologist.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, April 8, several Vincentians from Brooklyn, New York, traveled to Virginia, to visit Lonnie at the IHC.

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